Ripsey Mine Ride.My neighbor, Mike, set up a ride to the Ripsey Mine.
There were four jeeps in the group. The people were Sandy and Dave in their Jeep Cherokee, Gale in his TJ, Paul and Mike in Mike's JK and of course, Patti and I in Snoopy.
We left the park around 9:00 and headed for Florence-Kelvin Highway.
We stopped at the staging area at Cochran Road where the pavement ends, to air down.
After airing down we got back on Florence-Kelvin Highway and followed it almost to the end.
As we were driving along we notices that the Yucca's were starting to bloom.
Just past the sign for the 'A' Diamond Ranch, we turned right onto the big wash there heading south.
You can see where these walls originally were laying flat and some time in the distant past were tilted up buy tectonic forces.
Rare Wildlife Spotted.Mike stopped on the trail and got out of his jeep so we all stopped to see what was up.
What we found was a large (about 14" long) Gila Monster crawling through the bushes.
We stopped at a gate. As we waited for the lead guys to open the gate Patti spotted another Gila Monster. This one was a little bigger than the first one and was moving fast for a Gila Monster.
He was running for his hidey hole.
This is a really special day.
In all the years I have been wandering around the desert, this makes only the fourth Gila Monster I have seen. The other folks in the group had never seen one in the wild.
Wandering Around the Hills.After going through the gate the trail started to climb into the hills.
We wandered around the hills going up and down enjoying the desert scenery.
The Desert Blooming.Spring is coming to the desert and the wild flowers are beginning to bloom.
A Little Trouble on the Trail.
Dave had a little trouble in this spot since he doesn't have any lockers on his jeep.
After a couple of tries he got through here just fine.
Ripsey Mine.Eventually we got to the Ripsey Mine. There is a small cabin here.
While everyone else but Patti was eating lunch. Mike and I went into the mine.
Mike had a really bright light that made taking pictures a lot easier.
There are a lot of structures in this mine.
At one place there is a vertical shaft.
Looking into it, a cross tunnel can be seen.
We went to within a few yards of the end of the tunnel but it looked a bit shaky so we turned around here.
As we walked toward the entrance we stopped to check out some side tunnels.
This one had a wheel barrow in it.
In this side tunnel you can see an old air mover near the end.
This one was a bit scary as there were some large rocks that had fallen from the ceiling.
We made it out of the mine safe and sound.
Back on the trail.Patti and I ate our lunch and we got back on the trail.
We passed more Yucca's in bloom.
The Next Mine.Our next stop was at the Ripsey Hill Mine.
As we approached the mine we could see a bunch of ATV's there.
As we watched from across the valley the ATV's began to leave. Patti counted 26 ATV's.
After they left, we approached the mine.
This is the ore processing area with some interesting looking old pumps.
We continued past this area to where the mine tunnel is. Mike and I checked out the tunnel but it looked a bit shaky so we didn't go in. Mike just looked in.
There is still part of the tracks going to the now missing loading shoot.
Here is an old Generator that was left behind.
Leaving the Ripsey Area.We took the trail we came in on and drove through the hills on the way back to Florence-Kelvin Hwy.
Hunters and Their Catch.Eventually we got back to the staging area at Cochran Road where we stopped to air up the tires.
While we were there some predator hunters arrived with their kills. One guy had one Coyote and three fox's.
There were a couple other hunters with coyote's and fox's but these were the only ones Patti took pictures of.
After airing up we headed for home.
Patti and I went to Rolbeto's Taco shop for dinner. Patti had the Chicken Taco plate and I had the Adobada plate Yummm.
It was another great ride in this beautiful part if Arizona.
We will be leaving here to return to Quartzsite tomorrow but are looking forward to returning next season.